COINTELPRO Law and Legal Definition

COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO's of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations.

COINTELPRO was a counterintelligence program run by the FBI to harass and undermine "subversive" organizations, including civil rights organizations, anti-war, feminist, and other groups that displeased J. Edgar Hoover. Congressional investigations stimulated by the Watergate affair led to its demise in 1971.